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Place Your Pain With Him – A Testimony

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This is a testimony I gave before a church congregation several years ago. (Sue)

 

“…You saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a Father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” Duet. 1:31

In this verse the reference is to the Israelites being led from Egypt to the Promised Land. As they followed the path that Christ led them along they suffered many trials and tribulations.

For us today, this verse can mean that Christ has carried us from areas that we dwelled in, or are now dwelling in; darkness, sadness, feelings of being alone. Many of us have been in such situations, where we feel so alone that we wonder if there really is a God.

I didn’t know the love of Christ because my parents didn’t believe in Him. If the adults in our lives do not believe, they will not pass on that Jesus Christ is our saving grace. How can a man or woman, who put their selfish need ahead of the welfare of their children, hand down Christian love? How can they show the unconditional love of Jesus Christ?

When human needs; alcohol, sex, gambling, or even a job that requires 80 hours a week, are prominent in a home, there is no room for the children’s needs, caring, or Christian love.  If children are being physically, emotionally, and sexually abused they are in an atmosphere of pain, suffering, and putting the adults needs ahead of any child’s needs.

The child is thrown in the arena of sin, in an environment filled with sinful deeds that the innocent child has no power to control. When we as adults replace unconditional love with drugs, alcohol, sexual abuse we all suffer, not just the children.

Those of you who have experienced a home where drugs and alcohol are predominant – where is the unconditional love displayed? In a fix? In a bottle? What about those of us who have been ignored emotionally? Is this what Christ calls Agape love? We have been set aside until our presence is forced upon others.

The responsibility of parents (adults) toward children is stated plainly in scripture:

“Train a child in the way he should go,

and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

Prov. 22:6

“Assemble the people before Me to hear My words

so that they may learn to revere Me

as long as they live in the land

and may teach them to their children.”

Duet. 4:10

It is the adults responsibility to lead children toward Christ, not away. Those responsibilities are all of ours. The spiritual, as well as the physical and emotional is placed in our hands by the Father God. When we shirk those duties the children suffer. They are not taught Christ’s teachings, but the lessons of humans. They see Satan at work, not Christ.

How can children believe we have a loving God if all of their experiences evolve around evil? They can’t! And as adults that grew up in that environment, we carry those same belief systems with us – unless there is someone who will bring the light of Jesus Christ before us.

When I was growing up in an abusive, dysfunctional home I would not have known His light. A neighbor took the time and invited me to their church, and because being away from the house for a few hours meant I would be free from the abuse for that length of time I went.

The minister spoke about Jesus, who I had only heard of briefly. At 7 years old I heard the minister say that Jesus would save us. In my ears I heard, “save me,” (from the abuse) so I went to the altar to ask the preacher if Jesus would save me.

That altar call did not stop my abuse. But it did save me, although I did not know it at the time. I now know that Jesus Christ stood at that altar beside me, holding my small hand He cried just as hard as I did.

Forty something years later I invited the Lord into my heart, mind, and soul. He has brought me from the devastation of years of sexual abuse, the years of being beaten and humiliated,  through the pain of being gang raped at an early age, the years of being married to an alcoholic, womanizing, wife-beating husband who died at the wrong end of a gun, and the devastation I felt when I lost the only human being I ever trusted, the husband the Lord brought me, my late husband.

He has brought me through years and years of pain, guilt, fear, and shame to where I can stand tall, stand here before all these people and tell you unequivocally that the only healing, the only hope we have from the pains we had in the past and the places we are right now in life’s situations is Jesus Christ.

He suffered as we have suffered. He knows the sting of insults, the searing pain of wounds being inflicted by physical abuse, the feelings of being left alone and deserted. He not only walked in our shoes – He died there.  You don’t have to die as Jesus did. You don’t have to dwell in the darkness of feeling alone, forgotten, or cast aside. The Lord Jesus is right here. He’s sitting right beside you!

Reach out and take His hand. Let Him lead you through the wilderness you may be feeling. He can, He will heal the wounds from the past and those that you have right now.  Let Him fill your heart with a peace like you have never known before. You can only feel that peace if  you invite Him in.

Allow the Lord to carry you once again, He knows your needs, trust in Him and walk free.

“You dear children, are from God and have overcome them,

because the One who is in you is greater

than the one who is in the world.

They are from the world and therefore speak from the world,

and the world listens to them.

We are from God, and whoever is not from God does not listen to us.

This is how we recognize the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of falsehood.”

John 4:4-6

A short time ago Satan knocked me flat. Being the slime bag that he is, he blind-sided me and I was in such an emotional state that I could not even pray. The Lord Jesus knew my needs and allowed the Holy Spirit within me to write this poem. I’d like to share it with you.

A little girl

Just seven years old

Walked in church

eyes aglow.

She was a child

who felt beaten and lost

But she found the courage

to approach the cross.

All she could whisper

as she accepted His grace

Save me, Jesus

Save me.

Grown, old and gray

She’s once again

Been knocked to her knees

With Satan’s glee.

But now, as then

As she approaches the cross

All she can muster

from deep inside her heart

Save me, Jesus

Save me.

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Blessings to you.

 

Wishing I was the Wind – Testimony

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Wishing I was the wind

Remember back in 1956 the song “The Wayward Wind?” I loved that song! Okay, so some of you weren’t even born at that time and I’m aging myself. But that’s okay.

I remember sitting on the school bus, alone on the leather seat, looking out the window, and feeling totally alone. The words of the song would play through my mind and oh how I wished I could be that wind. How I wished I could just blow across the land and not have to encounter the abuse at home. As the wind, I could go wherever I wanted. I could be strong, so strong I could blow over houses or gently tilt a flower low to the ground. As the wind I would have the power to move mountains or ripple a stream.

I wasn’t living next to railroad tracts, as depicted in the song. I wasn’t grieving the loss of a lost lover. I was grieving a lost childhood. I was grieving the lack of love from a dysfunctional family. “Raise a child in the ways it is to go” wasn’t even thought about. I was being taught all the wrong things about who I was and who I would be. I was taught guilt, shame, anger, frustration, and filled with emptiness. I was taught what I was worth – nothing!

Sadly many people’s perception of their self worth derives from many different circumstances, people, society, families, jobs, how many friends we have/don’t have, etc. For me, actions speak louder than words. Don’t tell me you love me while choking me or punching me. Someone’s actions can relay a message of worth. We all know “that look” from Mom, Dad, husband, or wife.

If we claim our worth by how much money we have/ don’t have, our position at work/ executive or janitor, our weight/ to fat or to skinny, race, beautiful or ugly, harsh words or negative actions, or status in life we are being deceived. Magazines and T.V. commercials all have a message that we’re not good enough.

I remember when I confronted my Dad about the years of abuse, I’ll never forget his words. “You were my tool.” I don’t think anything he could have ever said that could have hurt more. You see he was a diesel mechanic. He had hundreds of tools. All shapes, all sizes. All had a specific purpose. They were placed in a big bright red tool box, inanimate objects that he used and put aside until needed the next time. Their only value was deemed in what they could be used for. images[2]

“You were my tool.” Little did I know that perceived self worth was established way back in the early years of my childhood. In my case it was, “Your good for only one thing.”

It was when I became a child of God that I learned God saw me worth more than a ten dollar screw driver or a fifteen dollar pair of pliers. He saw me as more than a vessel for sex or a punching bag. I was so valuable, “more than silver or gold,” that He adopted me as His daughter! His Son died on the cross that I might have life more abundant, forgiveness of my sins, and that I could spend eternity with Him.

My Dad saw me as a tool, to be used and thrown to the side until needed at another time. God saw me as a precious child who needed a Father. imagesCA7OM3L4

I was received and valued by Christ “…with the precious blood of Christ as a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1Peter 1:19

Our worth does not come from others, positions, status, or world worth. Our worth is based upon what God created. If He didn’t think we were worth creating He would not have created us! He would not have come to earth as a man, Jesus, to save us from an eternity in hell. He would not seek us out as a lost sheep and carry us back into the fold to love and protect us.

If you had been the only human being on the face of the earth He still would have gone to the cross for you. That’s how valuable you are to Him!

Don’t sell yourself short of how valuable you are. Your alcoholic mother, drug buddies, abusive father, parent that abandoned you did not determine your worth! God and God alone is the only one who determines our value. God see’s you valuable enough to die for you and adopt you as His child. “For you are all sons (daughters) of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Gal. 3:26

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“And because you are sons, (daughters) God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Gal. 4:6-7

* note: I added (daughters) so no-one feels left out.

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Blessings to you.

 

God’s Flashlight

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flashlight

Many people do not understand the deep soul devastation that happens when children are abused physically, emotionally, psychologically, sexually, and spiritually. Why spiritually? Because in each and every human God placed His spark within us before we were even born.  He knew us before we were conceived. (Jer.1:5) He said we are created in His image. (Gen.1:27) Mom and Dad are just the vessels He has used to bring us into this world.

The genetic makeup of a child is such that each has his own predisposition as to character and personality. How God created him can be altered through abuse because it directly affects how his character and personality will be developed. It can be nourished or devastated. Abuse attacks all that a child was meant to be. His D.N.A. will never be changed but what God created him for can and will be devastatingly changed. We were created to love and be loved, to feel joy, and enjoy life, and above all to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, and soul.

Through my own healing experiences the Lord has shown me much. I call it His big “flashlight” shining deep within my soul exposing those deep hurts, the wounds to my heart, the wounds that seared my thought processes, and so much more.

Through therapy, through much prayer, through dreams and visions He has brought healing in a variety of ways. He dug deep to expose the hurt. He dug deep to expose the falsehoods that had been told to me over and over and over again; it’s your fault, you liked it, you wanted it, you are my tool and I can do what I want with you, if you were good…, you’re worthless, the list is endless and may vary with each survivor but they all attack the personhood of the child. Instead of instilling worth and value and love, – guilt, shame, worthlessness, are being methodically and deliberately instilled in the child.

I mentioned dreams and visions because, in my recovery, the Lord would use dreams where He would reveal certain things to me. For instance, my career as a flight attendant placed me on airplanes for many years. I can relate to air travel so the Lord would use planes and hotels to get His point across. Other times He would use a person/people I knew or pets that I had.

My point is, don’t be fooled by a dream where within the dream there may be things you are familiar with. Because I was on a plane or in a hotel in a dream doesn’t mean I was just having some sort of flashback. If a dream bothers you, keeps coming to mind, or even a small portion of it, pray about it asking the Lord to show you what He is telling you. Write the dream down and then pray about it and allow the Lord to bring a deeper understanding to the wounds that He is touching. Make no assumptions about what the dream may mean. It’s easy to do that but we can miss the deeper meaning and healing.

For many years I had one dream that continually would show up without regard to anything I may have encountered that day, week, or even month. It was a small child’s hand. It appeared to belong to a two-year old child. It was always reaching out with the index finger pointing as though reaching out to touch something. I never understood and finally the Lord, after many years, revealed what it was. The Lord was leading me into the beginning stages of the healing process. Once the Lord revealed what that hand reaching out meant I have never had the dream again. He later revealed, through a vision this time, that the abuse began when I was an infant.

We can miss the magnificent healing powers of the Lord Jesus Christ by ignoring or discounting ways that He can bring about deeper healer within us. Jesus is Jehovah Rapha – The Lord that heals. (Ex. 15:26)

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Feel free to e-mail me if you have confidential questions or comments:  elah501c@bellsouth.net

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Blessings to you.

Taking the First Step

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The door slides open easily and quietly and my eyes fall on a stack of fliers lying on the counter top. I walk slowly toward them, curiosity pulling me toward them. Picking one up and reading I see the bold imprint at the top.

CHRISTIAN SUPPORT GROUP FOR WOMEN –

If you were sexually abused as a child, let the Lord help you heal.

As though the paper is on fire I suddenly drop it. Quickly glancing around in hopes that no one has seen me. “No one knows” rushes through my mind as I rush out the door. Leaving the flier behind does not alleviate the nervousness I feel. For the rest of the day the words on the flier keep playing over and over in my mind. Finally I return and quickly grab a flier from the stack and stuff it in my purse.

That is how many women have started the healing process. The fliers I left in the church lobby were soon gone and the first meeting of the support group for women began. Many women had never told of the abuse they suffered as children. They had never sought counseling because to admit to the atrocities done to them as children was so filled with shame and guilt that to even whisper the words was more than they could bear. Without realizing it, the moment they picked up the flier was the beginning of their healing process. God met them at the door of the support group and from that first step inside He loved them to life.

Maybe God is calling you to begin a support group for hurting women in your area. If you’re interested and feel this is something the Lord is calling you to do I’ll be happy to help you get started. I led these support groups for 12 years and know that Christian based support groups are much needed. I know of none being held yet 1 in 3 women have been sexually abused as children.

Feel free to e-mail me at elah501c@bellsouth.net if interested.

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Blessings to you.

Are your hands full?

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“Therefore if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

One of the first articles I wrote for the new Cyber Support Group blog (Rocks in my Garden) was with an assignment of placing rocks in a basket as each issue was healed. Survivors carry much guilt, shame, unforgiveness, low self-esteem, anger, etc. The healing of these many issues takes time and much work. They did not happen over night and will not be healed over night. As each issue is looked at we go through the pain of having to relive some of the events of the past but as we do so the Lord is with us and helping us to delve into the deep dark secrets and the effects it has in our present life.

Shame is something that is placed on us through acts that defy what we are created to be. God did not create us to walk with shame or guilt or rage because of what was done to us. He wishes each of us to be free to laugh, love, and rejoice in Him with the freedom much like a child happily playing.

If we have these issues bearing down on us we cannot be free to be as He created us to be. We must take each issue and deal with it. We cannot do it alone! We need Christ’s wisdom, guidance, and insight. We need the support of others and possibly a good counselor that is willing to walk with us through the pain.

Anger is a volatile emotion that can debilitate us and affects every relationship we have. It’s as though we have a volcano deep inside just waiting to erupt. Healing the issues we have to deal with helps in easing the effects of the volcano. It brings about forgiveness and as forgiveness is granted, for us and our abuser/s, we are set free from the devastating effects. I have seen survivors who felt as though a million pounds had been lifted from their shoulders by the act of forgiveness.

Forgiveness is difficult when we have been so violated by another human being that we trusted. Betrayal of the deepest level is difficult to forgive but it is absolutely necessary for us to be able to move forward and become free. It is the most important step in gaining freedom. It is the goal that we can set before us – to be able to forgive the one/ones that so harmed us. I’m not talking about lip service forgiveness but the kind of forgiveness that truly comes from the heart. We can start by telling the Lord that because He forgives us we choose to forgive (abuser name) and eventually we will be able to forgive from the heart.

Forgiveness is a choice! It does not mean what was done was right. It does not mean you have to have a relationship, or even contact, with this person. It does not mean that you will forget what was done. It means you release the consequences and judgment to God. Unforgiveness is wanting revenge. Forgiveness means that you have broken the ties that your abuser has you bound up with. It means you have taken a most important step in being able to move forward and live the life that God wants you to have. It means freedom.

Here are some scriptures to help you with various issues you may be facing:

Eph. 4:20

Eph. 4:31, 32

Phil. 4:6,

Gen 28:15

Mark 11:25

Is. 26:37

Ps. 91:4-7

 If you have confidential questions/comments feel free to e-mail me at: elah501c@bellsouth.net

http://www.elahministriesinc.com   

http://www.suespen2paper.com

http://www.facebook.com/elahministries  

 Elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.